What would you have been if you weren’t a designer?

Designers tell us about the alternative careers they have considered…

Mike Dempsey, founder, Studio Dempsey
Mike Dempsey, founder, Studio Dempsey

“Without hesitation, I would have loved to have been an actor. Film and theatre have always been a passion from a very young age.

In my late 50s, I took an acting course for a couple of years. In the end, I had to stop because it was encroaching too much on my day job running my old company CDT Design, but I loved it. I think every designer would greatly benefit from a drama course, it is wonderfully revealing and the more creative disciplines you can embrace the more rounded you will become.”


Sebastian Bergne, industrial designer
Sebastian Bergne, industrial designer

“When I was at school I was very tempted to study architecture, but was eventually put off when told it would take seven years of studies. What with my foundation course, BA and MA, I ended up studying industrial design for six so there wasn’t much in it.

More recently I designed a full-size functioning greenhouse made of Lego for the London Design Festival. It has since been included in various architecture books and magazines next to prestigious building projects.

In a strange way it feels like I’ve been given a lucky taste of a missed profession.”


Alan Dye, director, NB Studio
Alan Dye, director, NB Studio

“I wanted to be a rock star, but my band never left my bedroom door.

I wanted to be a Geologist but Echinoids became blurred with Belemnites.

I wanted to be a Biologist but my teacher soon put me off that.

I wanted to be a lot of things but had no real desire to do anything.

It wasn’t until I wandered into the art block in the sixth form and met an extraordinary teacher that my career path was chosen.

At the moment I wouldn’t want to be anything else. My job still gives me goosebumps.

But there is always tomorrow…”


What would you have been if you hadn’t become a designer? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Archie Lyons February 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    A meteorologist. Always dreamt of studying the atmosphere around us and it’s effects… Similar to design in a way.

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